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Quaker Teams With Asian Firms

Fall River, Mass.-based upholstery fabric manufacturer Quaker Fabric Corp. has signed a cooperative agreement with Hangzhou Zhongwang Fabric Products Co. Ltd., China, an upholstery fabric manufacturer; and a sourcing and distribution agreement with Daewoo International Corp., Korea, a velvet and microdenier sueded upholstery fabric manufacturer.

Commenting on the Hangzhou Zhongwang deal, Larry A. Liebenow, Quaker’s president and CEO, said: “Our objective is to recapture that portion of the US and world markets that has moved to Chinese sourcing over the past few years by offering a unique program to our worldwide customers — one that provides a differentiated product range to them that they can count on to meet US and international quality standards.”

Liebenow said Quaker will offer roll goods as well as cut-and-sew kits for direct shipment anywhere or for further processing in China. Quaker will design all products, and will provide technical and technological support to Hangzhou Zhongwang, while Hangzhou Zhongwang will market and distribute Quaker’s US-made products to China’s high-end furniture market.

Speaking of the Daewoo agreement, Liebenow noted loss of sales over the past few years because of the use of imported leather and microdenier sueded products in furniture. “This is our chance to recapture at least a portion of that business by merging our domestic and international distribution capabilities with Daewoo‘s production capacity and manufacturing expertise in the velvet and microdenier suede categories,” he said.

“Meanwhile, we are committed to growing our sales based on our US production,” he added. “To that end, we will be continuing to aggressively develop other products that for both strategic and economic reasons are best produced in our Fall River-based manufacturing facilities.”

March/April 2006